The Gift of Sabbath
Galatians 6:6 says, “Do not grow weary in doing good…” Part of not growing weary in doing good is exercising God's provision for rest. The Sabbath day should not thought of as a "punitive command." The Sabbath is not burdensome.
God could have demanded seven days of work out of us. But according to his sovereign design and through his miraculous provision, he promised that he would give seven days worth of supply for us through six days of work from us. The Sabbath is actually a gift from God.
Act of Faith
The Sabbath, when thought of correctly, is an act of faith. Consider giving financially or tithing. Giving financially is an act of faith as I trust God to do more with the money I have left over after I give than I could do if I were to have kept the whole 100%. In the same way, I need to trust God and allow Him to provide miraculously through my hands during six days and not foolishly think "I can" do more in seven. May we never forget that the Israelite's as they slogged through the desert. They got double provision the day before the Sabbath Those who sought to gather and hoard more, lacking faith and operating in "self provision" -- the extra which they did gather turned into worms and maggots. Quite a lesson.
About fifteen years ago I had a rather poignant wake-up call as I sought to do "catch-up tasks" on Sunday afternoons and evenings. What I found was I was no further ahead and yet I was struggling physically, mentally, emotionally and even spiritually due to a racing mind and an overtly "American" view of accomplishment. After a powerful sermon on the gift of the Sabbath, some tears, some study, and confession, I sought to shift toward accepting the gift of rest, following God's example given to us in the seventh day.
Physical Rest from God
God knows our propensity toward self-reliance, our fixation on accomplishment and knows the sickness that we will put ourselves through because of our own inability to trust and rest. This makes me think of my very own children. When my kids were little, they would sometimes fight a nap, though they were completely worn and tired. If they would just give in and rest. I display my personal shortsightedness when I neglect the beautiful provision of the Sabbath as a gift from God. God desires physical rest and recharge for His people.
Sunday was a day of work for me as a pastor. Therefore, I found a day of Sabbath a different way. I view a day having three sections: (1) Morning, (2) Afternoon and (3) Evening. Personally, I try to stack three sections together for my Sabbath: an evening, a morning and an afternoon of rest. Any order will do, as long as they are consecutive. Nothing legalistic.
I do not exist for the Sabbath. The Sabbath exists for me.
By Josh Denhart. All Rights Reserved.